South African phone number codes explained

For us yes, especially by hose that were involved in creating the numbering plan. But we are dying out and the new lot know less than nothing about the process and the logic behind it.
As useful as it was back then (your number was physically connected to a rotary dialer and that dialers number was fixed by it's position in the rack, changing a number meant changing the line constitutions and choosing a different dialer for the wires going to your phone) - Even with the dawn of internet in SA in 1992 there will still plenty of rotary exchanges...actually they were still manual much later than that.

It's really a pointless exercise these days though, in fact the whole logic of GN numbers really should no longer exist (other than to levy a differential charge based on some contrived idea distance of call - that doesn't apply to cellphones)

I recall back in the day that calls to them 089 competition lines had to be restricted by exchange to a couple of trunks in order to stop the exchange busying out... these days it's data and the links can handle hundreds of thousands of calls.

D
 
It is happening already, sort of. Don't know about the numbers going to mobile networks, but it can definitely go to VoIP providers. I ported my Telkom number to a VoIP provider.

So considering that, very soon even these fixed line prefixes will mean nothing. I can sit anywhere in South Africa, or even anywhere in the world for that matter, and still get a call on my old 011 Telkom number.
Ja the purpose and use of in-built intelligence in any numbering scheme is no longer considered relevant or useful.
 
Trying to remember... very tall antenna on my flat and car roof, think it was just under the FM radio range so about 70 MHz, somewhere around 20 to 30 Watts. Included an intercom, analogue so usually too noisy at distance, and I learnt to use a 45 degree angle to get signals over the signal-difficult Linksfield Ridge enough.

When I was caught?
It was some dept. of telecoms., they confiscated it. Turned out a security co. had complained about interference.
I convinced them to give it back then sold it, no fine.
I have a vague recollection of that event! Might have been my staff that caught up with you.
Sorry. :cool:
 
As useful as it was back then (your number was physically connected to a rotary dialer and that dialers number was fixed by it's position in the rack, changing a number meant changing the line constitutions and choosing a different dialer for the wires going to your phone) - Even with the dawn of internet in SA in 1992 there will still plenty of rotary exchanges...actually they were still manual much later than that.

It's really a pointless exercise these days though, in fact the whole logic of GN numbers really should no longer exist (other than to levy a differential charge based on some contrived idea distance of call - that doesn't apply to cellphones)

I recall back in the day that calls to them 089 competition lines had to be restricted by exchange to a couple of trunks in order to stop the exchange busying out... these days it's data and the links can handle hundreds of thousands of calls.

D
Ja the numbering system was an essential part of the charging plan as well. The fixation about distance dependent tariffs drove that aspect.
 
omw... I had one of those 088 voicemail numbers in the 90's... it's still active on the Telkom network 088 126 6753... more than 25 years later!

Talk about forgotten tech...

D
 
@Geoff.D , what were they thinking when they designed the neighbouring country codes?
09267148167314818 followed by the area, etc. :unsure:
There were plenty of anomalies for cross border comms to communities in neighbouring countries without their own networks. So, some places in all our neighbours were fed from our network with local cross border routes.
But, the calls had to still attract international call tarrifs. Now there were no computers around and databases, so mechanical means had to be found to get that right.
Then for many years there was a mismatch between SA and the rest of the world with regards to our international code (27). Some of you might remember what the old international code was which also meant in some cases that the code we dialled for other countries was different.
One of the more longer lingering screw ups that is still around is the 10111 fiasco for emergency. The World had standardised on 911 but because 9 was already in use in SA, it could not be used, hence ours was 10.
I am amazed that this particular screw up is still around and has not been fixed. There should be no reason why it can't be fixed.
 
There were plenty of anomalies for cross border comms to communities in neighbouring countries without their own networks. So, some places in all our neighbours were fed from our network with local cross border routes.
But, the calls had to still attract international call tarrifs. Now there were no computers around and databases, so mechanical means had to be found to get that right.
Then for many years there was a mismatch between SA and the rest of the world with regards to our international code (27). Some of you might remember what the old international code was which also meant in some cases that the code we dialled for other countries was different.
One of the more longer lingering screw ups that is still around is the 10111 fiasco for emergency. The World had standardised on 911 but because 9 was already in use in SA, it could not be used, hence ours was 10.
I am amazed that this particular screw up is still around and has not been fixed. There should be no reason why it can't be fixed.
10111 is easy to teach kids on their fingers.

images.jpeg

It is the same sign used for "you are screwed" as well as "zero".

So in other words. It is just "perfect" for SA.
 
Nearly 30 years ago, before cellular took off, I had an imported high powered cordless phone from the Far East that used to work in my car from beyond Pretoria to my flat in Jo'burg :giggle:

When I dared to use it... and would now consider that very selfish. (I did get caught.)
This you?

images (1).jpeg
 
This article is outdated & bs.

With number portability there is no certainty.

Numbers starting with 072 and 082 are designated for Vodacom, 073 and 083 are for MTN, and 074 and 084 are for Cell C.

My cell number starts with 083 but I'm not a mtn subscriber. The same could happen with people that port their fixed line numbers to voip providers, technically you could be sitting anywhere in the country.
 
Hell you used to be able to figure out roughly where someone lived by the 3 digits at the start of their phone number after the area code. Most people are totally clueless about that as well.

You can still do that if you're on a real fixed line, the Telkom dpsu/dssu/dlu hierarchy is quite rigid.
 
Then for many years there was a mismatch between SA and the rest of the world with regards to our international code (27). Some of you might remember what the old international code was which also meant in some cases that the code we dialled for other countries was different.

Our international direct dial access code was 09 for the world, we had exceptions though for some neighbouring countries where you dialed them using a 06x access code where x changed based on the country. We switched to the 00 international access code in the 90's and the 06x also fell away. Many countries don't follow the 00 plan.

One of the more longer lingering screw ups that is still around is the 10111 fiasco for emergency. The World had standardised on 911 but because 9 was already in use in SA, it could not be used, hence ours was 10.

The ITU only set 911 as a standard in 2012 besides 112. 911 is only really used in the NANP numbering plan with 112 being more widely used. Strangely enough I dialed 911 from my cell a few weeks ago to see what would happen and it got routed to emergency services;) Many countries use their own codes, think uk still uses 999 for example.
 
At the rate fixed lines are disappearing, ICASA should consider making those numbers available to mobile networks. ;)
Won't happen while fixed lines remain. It's more likely that numbers in the 06x and 07x ranges will be lengthened by an extra digit. Has happened before: I'm old enough to remember when numbers in the 031-75xxxx range were changed to 031-765xxxx.

Which conveniently brings me to...
Oddly enough, its ancient knowledge and no longer common knowledge.

Hell you used to be able to figure out roughly where someone lived by the 3 digits at the start of their phone number after the area code. Most people are totally clueless about that as well.
If I get a call from 031-701xxxx, I can only assume you've found my phone number and are stalking me. :p

(Incidentally, the caller ID here will show it as 002731xxxxxxx. 00 is the international dial-out code in these parts as well.)

The 3 digits at the start of the phone number also holds true here. If I get a call from 04-499xxxx, I know it's from somewhere in the Wellington CBD.
 
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Remember when you didn't have to dial the area code on local numbers, when that changed the alarm companies and dial up ISP's scrambled to change all their clients.

I used to see old adverts for 5 digit phone numbers, before my time though
 
You can still do that if you're on a real fixed line, the Telkom dpsu/dssu/dlu hierarchy is quite rigid.

To a degree yes, if the number remains with Telkom.

You can port your number to a VOIP provider, and then all geographic stuff falls out the window largely.
 
Won't happen while fixed lines remain. It's more likely that numbers in the 06x and 07x ranges will be lengthened by an extra digit. Has happened before: I'm old enough to remember when numbers in the 031-75xxxx range were changed to 031-765xxxx.

Which conveniently brings me to...

If I get a call from 031-701xxxx, I can only assume you've found my phone number and are stalking me. :p

(Incidentally, the caller ID here will show it as 002731xxxxxxx. 00 is the international dial-out code in these parts as well.)

The 3 digits at the start of the phone number also holds true here. If I get a call from 04-499xxxx, I know it's from somewhere in the Wellington CBD.

Nein ek se, I rid myself of that nasty fixed line ages ago... If I stalk you you won't know where its coming from :p
 
This article is outdated & bs.

With number portability there is no certainty.



My cell number starts with 083 but I'm not a mtn subscriber. The same could happen with people that port their fixed line numbers to voip providers, technically you could be sitting anywhere in the country.
This article is outdated & bs.

With number portability there is no certainty.



My cell number starts with 083 but I'm not a mtn subscriber. The same could happen with people that port their fixed line numbers to voip providers, technically you could be sitting anywhere in the country.
The article and the facts are accurate. The original allocations as per the plan remain valid, BUT number portability has meant the intelligence in the number may no longer be accurate.
 
You can still do that if you're on a real fixed line, the Telkom dpsu/dssu/dlu hierarchy is quite rigid.
The switching hierarchy is rigid, the numbering plan is not. It was/is just convenient to keep it consistent.
 
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